By Jim Melwert
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today is Ash Wednesday, but Episcopalians in our area don’t have to go to Church to get their ashes — the ashes are coming to them.
This is the third year that clergy from Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Society Hill are here at Jefferson Station, formerly known as Market East, on Ash Wednesday.
Rev. Ledlie I. Laughlin says they encourage everyone to go to a local church or nearby parish today, but he says the point of the day is to reflect their need for God.
“Complete strangers walk up and I say, ‘let us pray,’ and immediately people bow their heads in prayer,” Rev. Laughlin says. “And with a complete stranger, suddenly we’re having an extraordinarily intimate moment in which we’re acknowledging our need before God.”
Rev. Laughlin says when they arrived this morning there was already a group of people waiting for them, hoping they’d be back this year. He says since they’ve started doing this, it’s challenged him to think of other ways to bring what they do in church to people outside of church.